In the twilight of fall, as daylight hours grow shorter, members of Bay State Commons Cohousing have been actively repurposing the concept of home is where the heart is. As we look to build a common building near Malden center, we continue to come together to grow our community. As the Thanksgiving holiday neared, two BSC members sent an email: ‘Our plans have changed. Would anyone like to have Thanksgiving together?’ In short order there were 18 willing participants, and on Thanksgiving we met at a home in Medford to share in relaxed conversation, delicious food, and a warm atmosphere.
Shortly thereafter we gave thanks to Cornerstone Village Cohousing for hosting our group in their common space without asking for anything in payment. We reciprocated by cooking a meal for 70 that included various lasagnas, salads, sides and many desserts, including apple-berry pie. It was the first night of Hanukah, so we lit the first candle on a menorah, and also celebrated members of BSC and Cornerstone who had December birthdays.
As we work together to build a common home in Malden, our hearts are full with thanks to everyone who has supported our project and encouraged us to make cohousing a reality. We have amazing guides, neighbors and friends who are a tremendous source of strength. Thank you!
Outside it was a brisk, grey, slightly wet day – in other words, perfect weather for bowling! Inside Somerville’s Sacco’s Bowl Haven, thirty BSC members gathered for a couple of hours of bowling and socializing, fueled by pizza and lemonade. Our group was assigned four consecutive lanes in what felt like a cozy corner on the side away from the Flatbread Company. Each lane has comfortable seating and a table for six players. Behind this area, there’s a divider with a narrow counter where one can stand, watch the action, socialize and eat. The overall layout invites both bowling and hobnobbing, and there seemed to be an equal number of us doing either at any given time.
Among those of us who bowled, many (including yours truly) didn’t keep score. We just enjoyed knocking down pins and cheering on others to do the same. And if, by chance, our best attempts to topple a pin failed, so what! We pushed the button and moved on, as did the still-standing pins. Among other newsworthy details, it should be noted that at least one person arrived perfectly attired in a classic bowling shirt!
And at least one group kept score! Is Ricardo explaining the fine points of scoring to a captive audience in one of the photos?
And finally, near the end, someone with no shame obtained a device designed to deliver a ball down the lane more precisely than most of us can; but alas, in the end it, too, disappointed. Oh well. This was all the evidence (and excuse) some of us needed!
Members of Cornerstone Village Cohousing have graciously opened their doors and allowed Bay State Commons cohousing to host meetings twice a month in their common house area. In order to show appreciation and give back to our hosts, on a Saturday in late October members of Bay State Commons cohousing joined the residents of Cornerstone for an on-site workday. There were many indoor and outdoor projects to tackle in order to prepare their common facilities, green space, and gardens for winter. This included trimming back plants of all sizes, raking, pulling weeds, painting, and sweeping.
Cornerstone was a featured stop on a 2017 ‘Secret Gardens of Cambridge’ community tour, something Cornerstone’s urban gardeners are proud of.
Urban Green Space
It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. While working, people laughed, shared stories, and in many instances got down in the dirt and interacted with the green space, something that is generally uncommon in an urban setting. It was a great model for Bay State Commons cohousing members to see. Similar to Cornerstone, the future Bay State Commons site is planned to be in a similar semi-urban setting. Our project is also envisioned to maximize outdoor green space.
Work-day participants also connected over a tasty lunch prepared by several Bay State Commons volunteer chefs. Overall the workday was a success, and we want to thank Cornerstone for their generosity in allowing us to use their common space for our meetings. They continue to support and inspire us as we move forward and envision our own future building and community green space.